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Sen. Rick Scott

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Rick Scott says Americans will make ‘right decisions’ on coronavirus without mask mandates, shutdowns

Voluntary actions, not mandates.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott continued Thursday to insist people would make the ‘right decisions’ regarding coronavirus precautions — and without governmental mandates.

The U.S. Senator, in an op-ed and a follow-up interview on Fox News, lauded Americans’ so-called “rugged individualism” and suggested public health precautions ran counter to “the fundamental freedoms that undergirded our country’s founding.”

At times, the Senator’s argument, as it has been regarding this stage of the coronavirus crisis, has been fraught with internal contradictions.

“In a free society we have the right to act stupid, and we tend to regularly exercise that right,” Scott wrote, only to contradict the messaging when he said during the interview that “people are smart, give them good information.”

Scott’s aversion to mask mandates, rooted in “rugged individualism” as it may be, somehow finds a way to blame media.

“If you listen to the press, they want our government to mandate face masks and shut down our economy again because of spiking coronavirus cases. This would be a huge mistake and could take us from a recession to a depression. Re-closing our economy can only be supported by people who know virtually nothing about how the American economy works and people who do not know what it is like to struggle to pay the bills,” he wrote.

Whether the entire “press” wants to “shut down our economy” again is an open question, but the Senator continued to give vague advice to politicians.

“Our elected leaders need to be more forthcoming and quit caring about whether the press says they are doing a great job.” Scott wrote.

“Politicians and government officials haven’t done a good enough job getting the American people the information they need,” Scott added, saying that “elected leaders can’t sugarcoat where we are.”

The Senator continued to avoid specifics about Florida’s response to the virus in the op-ed and the television spot, frustrating those who might want more granular details on that front.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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